Books make wonderful gifts for boys. They develop the imagination and build reading skills. And the best books can be enjoyed for years.
An Ideal Gift for 5-9 year olds: Captain Underpants
The Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey is extremely popular with small boys. They are funny, easy to read, exciting and totally focused on what boys of this age enjoy. They’re especially suitable for boys with a mischievous or subversive streak, and children who are the youngest in the family will find them irresistible. You can now buy them in boxed sets, which will guarantee weeks and weeks of entertainment. They are published by Scholastic.
Presents for Tweens: Mr. Gum
More recent than Captain Underpants, the Mr. Gum series of books by Andy Stanton is fabulous. They are very, very funny, and Stanton’s way with language is masterly. The books are designed with lots of white space and large font to make them accessible, particularly to reluctant readers and those ages 7-10. Amidst all the humour, imagination, and zaniness lie sound values, but they are incorporated so thoroughly into the characters and storyline that the child reading the book will not feel preached at. The latest is Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. It is published by Egmont, and the ISBN is 9781405241793.
More Books for Tweens: Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Rick Riordan’s series of Percy Jackson books feature a heroic young demigod – “half boy, half God, all hero.” They blend the ancient Greek myths with modern life, and are very funny and very popular with boys as they approach puberty and early adolescence. Rick Riordan is an award winning mystery writer as well as a middle school teacher, and the combination makes him able to access what boys ages 10 and up find interesting and to present it in a highly readable package. Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse is published by Penguin, and the ISBN is 978-0-141-32126-4.
Gifting Ideas for Teenage Boys ages 12 and Up: Spud
South African writer, John van de Ruit, has written a hilarious novel about life as the smallest newest boy at a top of the market boarding school. Full of the agonies and insecurities of adolescence, this book has been a huge success with both current schoolboys, and with men who look back on their boarding school days with some nostalgia. It’s now available as an audio book, too, for boys who don’t like reading, or to listen to in the car. Spud is published by Penguin, the ISBN is 978-1595-14-1873
Spud – The Madness Continues: Ages 12 upwards
This book continues the saga of John van de Ruit’s Spud, as he moves into his second year at boarding school. Just as funny as the first, it makes a great gift for teenage boys. ISBN 978-0-143-02520-7. It is published by Penguin.
All of these books are humorous and well written. They will capture the attention of children and teens at different stages of development and guarantee many hours of entertainment.